Life can be overwhelming sometimes. Stress piles up, emotions run high, and suddenly you feel like you’re about to explode. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. 

But what can you do in the heat of the moment to regain control and calm yourself down? 

This is where the TIPP skills come in.

What Does TIPP Mean?

Feeling flooded with emotions? Want to take control before things spiral out of control? Look no further than TIPP!

TIPP is an acronym that stands for four powerful techniques used in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Think of DBT as a toolbox filled with strategies for managing difficult emotions and preventing unhealthy behaviors. 

The TIPP skills are a particularly handy set of tools you can use in the moment, helping you stay calm and collected when stress or anger threaten to take over.

Here’s a deeper dive into what TIPP means:

  • T – Temperature: This technique leverages the power of cold to disrupt your emotional state and trigger the “dive response.” The dive response is a natural reflex that slows your heart rate and breathing, promoting a calmer state. Think of it as hitting the pause button on your emotions!
  • I – Intense Exercise: Physical activity is a fantastic way to release pent-up energy and reduce stress hormones. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, a quick burst of intense exercise can do wonders. This could be anything that gets your heart rate up, like a brisk walk, jumping jacks, or climbing stairs.
  • P – Paired Muscle Relaxation: This technique involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. By focusing on the physical sensations of tension and relaxation, you can distract yourself from negative thoughts and emotions, promoting a sense of calm.
  • P – Paced Breathing: (This one is sometimes included as a 4th “P” in TIPP) Deep, controlled breathing is a cornerstone of stress management. Focusing on your breath can help slow your heart rate, reduce anxiety, and clear your head. There are many paced breathing techniques available, so find one that works for you.

The beauty of the TIPP skills is that they’re simple to learn and can be used almost anywhere. 

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, anxious before a big event, or frustrated with a loved one, these techniques can help you regain control and navigate the situation more effectively.

What is the TIPP Skill: Intense Exercise?

Feeling like you could explode from stress? Sometimes, the best thing you can do is move your body. That’s where the intense exercise component of TIPP comes in. 

It’s not just about burning calories; it’s a powerful tool for managing overwhelming emotions.

Here’s why intense exercise is such a rockstar in the TIPP skillset:

  • Stress Hormone Reduction: When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can make you feel jittery and anxious. Intense exercise helps combat this by promoting the release of endorphins, our body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins have the opposite effect of cortisol, leaving you feeling calmer and more relaxed.
  • Energy Release Valve: Imagine your body as a pressure cooker. When you’re stressed, that pressure builds. Intense exercise acts like a release valve, allowing that pent-up energy to escape through physical exertion. The result? You feel less tense and more in control.
  • Distraction Powerhouse: Our minds can get stuck in negative thought loops when stressed. Intense exercise forces us to focus on our bodies and the physical sensations of movement. This can be a great way to break free from those negative thought patterns and create a much-needed mental break.

Now, the type of exercise doesn’t have to be fancy. The key is to find something that gets your heart rate up and gets you moving:

  • Quick Burst Options: If you’re short on time, a quick burst of high-intensity exercise can still be effective. Try doing jumping jacks, jumping rope, or running up and down stairs for a couple of minutes.
  • Nature Fix: Feeling cooped up? Take your exercise outdoors for a double dose of stress relief. Go for a brisk walk or jog in nature, or try some jumping jacks in the park.
  • Find Your Fit: The best exercise is the one you’ll actually do. Whether it’s dancing to your favorite music, hitting the gym for a weightlifting session, or taking a spin class, choose something you enjoy.

Remember, the goal isn’t to win a marathon (although, good for you if you do!). It’s about moving your body and releasing that built-up tension so you can approach the situation with a clearer head. 

So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, lace up your shoes, crank up the tunes, and let intense exercise work its magic!

What is the TIPP Skill: Dive Response?

Feeling like you’re about to lose it? Sometimes, a simple trick involving cold temperature can be surprisingly effective. This is the power of the dive response, a natural reflex triggered by the TIPP technique. Let’s dive deeper (pun intended!) into how it works.

What is the Dive Response?

Imagine our ancestors encountering a dangerous predator. Their bodies would react instinctively, preparing them for a fight or flight response. But there’s a lesser-known response called the dive response, also known as the mammalian diving reflex.

When submerged in cold water, our bodies prioritize conserving oxygen. This triggers a cascade of physiological changes, including:

  • Slowed Heart Rate: Your heart doesn’t need to work as hard to pump blood throughout your body.
  • Reduced Blood Flow to Non-Essential Organs: Blood is diverted to vital organs like the brain and heart.
  • Slower Breathing: Your body slows down its oxygen intake to match the reduced demand.

The net effect? A calmer, more relaxed state.

How to Utilize the Dive Response with TIPP

The TIPP technique harnesses the power of the dive response by using cold temperature to disrupt your emotional state. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Splash of Cold Water: Keep a bowl of ice water handy. When feeling overwhelmed, splash some cold water on your face. The shock can trigger the dive response, offering a quick burst of calming relief.
  • Cold Pack Magic: Keep a cold pack in the freezer. When needed, press it against your forehead or temples. The concentrated cold can be very effective in triggering the dive response.
  • Cold Shower Power (Use Caution): If you’re feeling brave and have no underlying health conditions (especially heart problems), a quick cold shower can be a powerful way to activate the dive response. However, always prioritize safety and consult with a doctor before trying this technique.

While the dive response is generally safe, it’s crucial to listen to your body. If you have any heart problems, consult with a doctor before trying any of these techniques.

The takeaway? 

The TIPP technique’s dive response hack can be a game-changer for managing overwhelming emotions. By utilizing cold temperature, you can trigger a natural calming response in your body, helping you regain control and approach the situation with a clearer head.

What are TIPP Skills: Paired Muscle Relaxation?

Feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Sometimes, your mind needs a break. That’s where paired muscle relaxation (PMR), a powerful technique within the TIPP skillset, comes in. PMR isn’t just about loosening up tight muscles; it’s a strategy for interrupting negative thought patterns and promoting relaxation. Here’s a deeper look at how PMR works its magic:

The Power of Distraction: 

When you’re feeling anxious, your mind gets stuck in a loop of negative thoughts. PMR provides a much-needed distraction. By focusing on the physical sensations of tensing and relaxing different muscle groups, you shift your attention away from those worries and anxieties. This mental break can help to calm your emotional state.

Progressive Relaxation Response: 

PMR follows a progressive approach, meaning you work your way through different muscle groups one at a time. As you tense and release each group, the relaxation builds, creating a ripple effect throughout your body. This progressive relaxation helps to counteract the physical tension that often accompanies stress and anxiety.

Anchoring in the Present Moment: 

PMR encourages you to be present in the moment by focusing on the physical sensations in your body. This mindfulness practice can help to ground you and prevent you from getting swept away by overwhelming emotions.

Here’s how to practice paired muscle relaxation:

  1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a comfortable, quiet environment where you won’t be interrupted.
  2. Get Comfortable: Sit or lie down in a relaxed position. Close your eyes if that feels comfortable.
  3. Focus on Your Breath: Take a few slow, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
  4. Start with One Muscle Group: Choose a muscle group, like your hands or forearms. Clench your fists tightly for a few seconds, feeling the tension build.
  5. Release and Relax: Open your hands completely, focusing on the feeling of relaxation that washes over you. Notice the difference between the tension and relaxation.
  6. Repeat and Progress: Repeat steps 4 and 5 with other muscle groups, moving progressively through your body, like your arms, shoulders, back, legs, and face.
  7. Enjoy the Calm: After completing the sequence, take a few more deep breaths and savor the feeling of relaxation.

Consistency is key! The more you practice PMR, the more effective it will become. Aim to practice regularly, even when you’re not feeling stressed, so you can readily access this technique when you need it most.

Mastering the TIPP Skills

The TIPP skills are a powerful tool for managing difficult emotions and preventing them from spiraling out of control. By incorporating Intense Exercise, Temperature (and the dive response it triggers), and Paired Muscle Relaxation into your coping mechanisms, you can learn to regulate your emotions and navigate stressful situations more effectively.

Remember, the TIPP skills are most effective when practiced regularly. The more you use them, the more comfortable you’ll become with them, and the easier it will be to implement them when you need them most.

So, next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath, and try out a TIPP skill. You might be surprised at how quickly it can help you regain control and find some inner peace.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us Today

Find the support you deserve. 

Renewing your life, one day at a time.

For Clients

Client Portal